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Bedford's Rob Thomas digs 'funny' Twitter parody account
Take the opening line of Rob Thomas and Santana’s hit song, “Smooth,” and you have the premise for a Twitter parody account that attracted more than 1,500 followers before calling it quits this week — and earning a shout-out from Thomas, who lives in Bedford.
That first lyric, “Man, it’s a hot one,” inspired New York comedians Josh Patten and Dru Johnston to anonymously launch the @RobThomasWeathr Twitter feed on Jan. 31. The two met in 2007 as students at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where they now perform Saturday nights as members of the Grandma’s Ashes improv comedy team.
“I G-Chatted with Dru and said, ‘Hey, man, would you laugh at an account that was just ‘Man, it’s a ‘blank’ one,’ every day, about the weather?” Patten recalled Thursday morning. “And he said, ‘Yeah,’ so we just started doing it.”
Their first @RobThomasWeathr tweet? “Man, it’s a chilly one.” The next day, it was “Man, it’s a mild one.” “Cloudy,” “crisp,” “cool,” “brisk” and “clear” ones followed on successive days, and other meteorological adjectives followed.
“We decided that if at least two people followed it, then it would be fun,” Johnston said.
The simple formula worked. As of Thursday morning, @RobThomasWeathr’s 1,548 followers included comedians and comedy writers — including some from “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and the new “In Living Color” — as well as a few unexpected accounts, including the official feeds for WNBC and Boston University.
“And then there’s always the people who think it’s actually Rob Thomas,” Patten said. “Their replies were like, ‘Hey, we can’t wait to see you in Toledo next week.’ ”
Fast-forward to this Tuesday, when the comedians wrapped things up by, for the first time, posting the actual “hot” lyric, followed by the song lyrics in their entirety. They’d been repeating weather-related adjectives, and said that they didn’t intend for it to run for years.
“So, we just decided to wait until it was hot enough,” Johnston said.
In the process of posting all the actual lyrics, they got a surprise from the Matchbox Twenty man, himself. In response to a fan’s tweet that asked for Thomas’ opinion of the @RobThomasWeather account, the multiple Grammy winner replied, “it’s pretty funny stuff.”
Johnston said the mention derailed plans to just tweet out the rest of the “Smooth” lyrics, but the comedians agreed that they couldn’t ignored what just happened.
“Man, it’s been a fun one,” reads the penultimate @RobThomasWeathr tweet. “Thank you @ThisIsRobThomas for [complimenting] us on our last day.”
The last tweet, posted Tuesday afternoon, revealed the identities behind the @RobThomasWeathr account. Patten says “about a dozen people” knew who was behind the account before they announced their identities to the Twitterverse in the account’s final tweet, but that it wasn’t hard to keep it a secret “because it was always just so silly.”
In keeping with the ’90s music theme, the duo is also behind another Twitter parody account, @CountingCrows_, in which they update all the crows they’ve supposedly counted, one at a time. They launched the account this year on April Fools' Day, and their most recent update, as of 10:20 a.m. EST Thursday, was “76 crows.”
Man, it's a funny one.